You must have heard the Q-Tip/ MNDR-featuring Bang, Bang, Bang by now so you’ll know that Ronseal has dumped his brass section. Yep, he’s all about the keyboards this year so it looks like he’s poised to do for the eighties synthesiser what Versions did for the horns. Make of that what you will – one can only speculate what instrument he will turn his attentions to next. In the meantime expect a cast of collaborators more star-studded than a Royal Variety Performance (including Ghostface Killah and Boy George), some breakbeats and a lot of noises that make you think it’s 1984 again. Tracklist below press guff…
(PRESS RELEASE) Mark Ronson is back and this time more than ever, he means business – the Business Intl, in fact.
‘Record Collection’ is the third album headed up by the mid-Atlantic muso mastermind and, as usual, he’s bought a host of famous friends and former collaborators along for the ride. The follow up to 2007’s triple platinum ‘Version’ – which sold one million copies in the UK and saw Ronson score the Best Male Solo Artist gong at the Brit Awards – is every bit as impressive as it’s predecessor. This time however, Ronson has made a point of ripping up the rule book that he had written so well. So it’s goodbye to the Dap Kings and their horn-y break downs and au revoir to the innovative cover versions. Instead, Ronson is saying hello to Brooklyn b-boy sonics, swirling retro synthesized sounds and the kind of off-kilter pop sixth sense that it’s impossible not to move to.
Recorded at Dunham studios in Brooklyn and working with vintage keyboards Ronson bought on eBay, the album melds eighties indie to nineties hip hop beats and also sees someone rather special take to the mic… ‘Lose It (In The End)’ was co-written by Jonathan Pierce of The Drums and features rhymes from Ghostface Killah and vocals from Mark Ronson himself. ‘My vocals sound so small next to Ghostface – literally dwarfed when he comes in. But I wanted that song to sound like The RZA sampling a Turtles record and putting a breakbeat on it,’ says Ronson.
It’s not the only track with he sings on, also lending his soft transatlantic tones to the album’s genius title track, a satirical swipe at the music industry and Ronson’s perceived lifestyle, written by Nick Hodgson of the Kaiser Chiefs, and which sees Ronson bemoaning “I drive ‘round cities in a chariot/I get preferential treatment at the Marriott”. Featuring a soaring chorus sung by Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon and keyboards from Nick Rhodes, ‘Record Collection’ is one of the album’s stand-out songs on a record packed with them.
The old school flavour of the album is behind much of its charm. ‘The Bike Song’ – co-written by the Zutons’ Dave McCabe and with laid back, but never lazy, vocals from The View’s Kyle Falconer – boasts an almost psychedelic sixties vibe while the warm doo-wop of ‘The Night Last Night’ is brought to glorious life by former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall. ‘I wanted to get that Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons’ Beggin’ feeling, that really haunting, barbershop-type harmonies over a heavy drum break,’ explains Ronson.
Rose also features on ‘You Gave Me Nothing’, another track co-written by Jonathan of The Drums. Appearing alongside Miike Snow frontman Andrew Wyatt, it’s an anti love song, the tale of a warring couple set in front of an sumptuous eighties synth backdrop. ‘Somebody To Love Me’ is another highlight. Jake Shears of Scissors Sisters, Cathy Dennis, erstwhile Dirty Pretty Thing Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt all had a hand in writing what Ronson describes as a ‘bionic’ song. Then he persuaded Boy George, at his most cracked diva-esque, to sing this song of ‘earnest blue-eyed soul’ and a lost club classic with a modern twist. It’d be a mistake not have ‘Record Collection’ in yours.
Mark Ronson & The Busines Intl – Record Collection – Tracklist
1. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ (feat. Q-Tip & MNDR)
2. ‘Lose It (In The End)’ (feat. Ghostface Killah)
3. ‘The Bike Song’ (feat. Kyle Falconer)
4. ‘Somebody To Love Me’ (feat. Boy George)
5. ‘You Gave Me Nothing’ (feat. Andrew Wyatt & Rose Elinor Dougall)
6. ‘The Colour Of Crumar’
7. ‘Glass Mountain Trust’ (feat. D’Angelo)
8. ‘Circuit Breaker’
9. ‘Introducing The Business’
10. ‘Record Collection’ (feat. Simon Le Bon & Wiley
12. ‘Hey Boy’
13. ‘Missing Words’
14. ‘The Night Last Night’ (feat. Rose Elinor Dougall)